For a long time now, I’ve always considered myself the Samantha in my friend group, and as a writer I should have seen myself as Carrie, but there was something about Samantha that resonated with me. In Sex & the City, she was never worried about what men thought of her and was always focused on her career. Samantha was busy building a business empire, while Carrie was crying into her poached eggs over Mr. Big. Samantha was the kind of woman who was selfish – but in a good way, because she put herself first. She wasn’t afraid to admit that she loved herself more than she loved Smith Jerrod, and I liked that about her. She bought her own drinks at the bar, she held her own doors open – Samantha Jones didn’t need chivalry.
Fast forward and here we are in a feminist upheaval where “girl boss” and “nasty woman” are badges of independent honour. But what about chivalry? Has it died? Have 21st century women become so conditioned to be independent that they can’t even allow a man to open the car door for them without being offended? If the future is female, where do men fit into that future? It’s as if the fear of being accused of sexism has caused men to think twice before being chivalrous.
Maybe it’s not that feminism has killed chivalry, but that the definition of both of those words have since changed. Chivalry is no longer a knight in shining armour rushing to rescue a damsel in distress. Does the damsel actually need to be saved? No, but the point is validation. Relationships today have evolved past this and with it, chivalry has fallen to the wayside.
Stereotypically, it’s the man that pays the bill on the first date, but now, as a woman, I want to make sure my date knows that I’m an equally strong and capable counterpart, and splitting the bill is a good start. After all, is there anything more un-feminist in this day and age than demanding to have your cake and make the man pay for it, too?
But sometimes there are diamonds in the rough. Sometimes you’ll run into really nice guys who wholeheartedly want to pay the bill and won’t use it to prove they are above you socially. However, it seems as if the evolution of the “f*ck boy” has played a part in making it seem like chivalry is dead and gone. It’s guys like these, who treat you nice one second but ghost you the next (we all know them), that make it difficult to believe that chivalry still exists.
For me, whether or not a man pays the bill, I still want to be respected. When did being a feminist translate to not wanting to be treated like a lady? It’s like you’re either a feminist or a woman who deserves to be treated out on a first date – not both. Yes, I consider myself an independent girl boss who is more than capable of buying her own dinner, but sometimes it just feels good to be treated like a lady. Does that make me any less of a feminist? Absolutely not.
Or maybe chivalry seems dead because nobody dates anymore. Couples just hang out and somehow fall into relationships without actually dating one another. Netflix and Chill is the new dinner and a movie, and let’s be real, a man letting you choose which TV show to cue next isn’t new-wave chivalry – it’s complacency. In a world where people are more concerned with how they look on social media and meet people from the comfort of their own home through dating apps, chivalry seems like a thing of the past.
If chivalry is dead and feminism is the cause, both men and women have lost something in the battle. We can have both and we need both because if chivalry is dead, does that mean dating in general is growing extinct? As a hopeless romantic, I refuse to believe that. I’m the type of woman who is strong enough to get myself out of that tower without a prince, but vulnerable enough to know when it’s okay to be saved.
Do you think feminism killed chivalry? Let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.
She is a lover of good books, Sunday brunches and running around the city with her girl gang. She's your basic Blair Waldorf in a world of Jenny Humphrey's. You can follow her on Twitter @BNeustaeter.
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